Drug traffickers kill police in S Iran - CIA drug lords presstv

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Drug traffickers kill police in S Iran - CIA drug lords presstv

Post  jesuitsdidit2 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:09 pm


Drug traffickers kill police in S Iran
Thu, 03 Dec 2009 10:24:20 GMT

picProvincial Iranian Police Chief Brigadier Mohammad-Reza Eshaqi

Four Iranian police officers have lost their lives in clashes with a gang of drug smugglers in the county's southern province of Kerman.

"Officers of the Roudbar narcotics unit identified a group of drug smugglers and stopped their vehicle," Kerman Police Chief Brigadier Mohammad-Reza Eshaqi told reporters on Wednesday.

"Four Roudbar officers lost their lives in the following shootout," he said, adding that the narcotics traffickers fled the scene.

However, Eshaqi noted that the police force had confiscated two hundred kilograms of drugs from the vehicle they left behind.

The police chief said the clashes broke out in an area situated between the province's two southern towns of Roudbar and Zahkout, which smugglers use as a route after crossing Iran's border with Afghanistan.

As the western neighbor of Afghanistan, Iran is considered the main barrier for the transit of narcotics to Europe. Afghanistan is believed to be providing close to 95 percent of the world's heroin.

Drug production in Afghanistan has multiplied by 40 times the previous output since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

Afghanistan produced 185 tons per year of opium under the Taliban. However, according to UN statistics, the country experienced a sharp rise in drug production following the US-led invasion, with opium production every year reaching the staggering figure of 3,400 tons.

Afghanistan's opium trade reached its peak in 2007, when its record production of 8,200 tons was reached.

Many Afghan and Western officials blame Washington and its NATO allies for the sudden surge, saying they overlooked the drug problem for more than seven years after the invasion of the country.

“[The US and its allies] didn't want anything to do with either interdiction or eradication. We warned them over and over again: Look at Colombia," says former Bush administration ambassador for counternarcotics Thomas Schweich.

As a leading donor to Afghanistan, Iran has annually contributed more than $50 million for Afghan counternarcotics efforts over the past five years.

Tehran has also spent a fortune on its own war on drugs within the country. One of the more costly projects Iran has initiated is the construction of a barrier on the 700-kilometer (435-mile) border it shares with Afghanistan.

International bodies including the United Nations have on many occasions commended Iran's police force on its efforts to fight the trend despite the enormity of the task.

The UN credited Iran with the seizure of 80 percent of the opium netted around the world in 2007.

Iran's envoy to Vienna-based international bodies, Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh, has recently been appointed as the head of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the United Nations' central policy-making authority on narcotics related issues.

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